Houston's postseason journey will begin without the help of Jadeveon Clowney.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the second-year Texans pass rusher will not play in Saturday's wild-card tilt against the Chiefs thanks to the foot injury he suffered in a Week 16 win over the Titans.
It's a significant blow for Houston's defense, although not a surprising one, as Clowney was listed as questionable after he sat out Friday's practice.
ESPN reported Saturday afternoon that an upset Clowney left the stadium over the Texans' decision to deactivate him. NFL Media's James Palmer reported, however, Clowney left to deal with a family matter and will be back for kickoff.
"He was upset, I'm told, because he was unable to contribute for this playoff game," Palmer said. "Now I was also told that he has to deal with a family matter, he will be returning. And also I will let you guys know this before I go, that inactive players are allowed to leave the building, according to the Texans, and they're allowed to watch from upstairs or at home."
Clowney's absence means a larger role for John Simon, the reserve outside linebacker who logged five sacks over 649 snaps during the regular season. The third-year pass-rusher will be joined by Whitney Mercilus, who raged and rolled to a career-high 12 takedowns in 2015.